Palm Springs California
About Palm Springs
Located in southern California in the Sonoran Desert (about 110 miles southeast of Los Angeles), Palm Springs is a desert resort city known for its stylish hotels, golf courses, spas, and hot springs.
Greater Palm Springs is comprised of nine cities - Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella. With approximately 350 days of sunshine a year, and temperatures that rarely drop below 40 degrees, the city is a popular destination for sun-loving families.
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Best Times To Visit Palm Springs, CA
It gets very hot in Palm Springs during the summer, so the best times of year to visit for outdoor tourist activities are from early April to mid June, or from mid September to early November. This is when the health & relaxation spas, resorts, restaurants, and major attractions are busiest. The milder weather during these times also makes it ideal for hiking, golfing, and other outdoor activities.
How To Get To Palm Springs: Transportation To Palm Springs, CA
The most popular way to reach Palm Springs is to travel by car. California State Route 74 serves the city, while Interstate 10 passes through the Coachella Valley. Alternatively, travelers can take the scenic route from San Bernardino County to the Colorado River. Some visitors prefer to take a train from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, California Amtrak Station (PSN), and yet others fly into the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP).
Things To Do In Palm Springs, California
Let's not forget the famous annual music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach that occur at the Empire Polo Club each year. There's also the Indio International Tamale Festival and other food festivals, Fashion Week El Paseo, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival, and the weekly Palm Springs Village Fest in the newly renovated Palm Springs town square.
Downtown Palm Springs & Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs is also home to many businesses. The bustling downtown area (Palm Canyon Drive) offers fine foods and casual dining, upscale shopping, as well as small boutique shops and mom & pop establishments. Palm Springs may best be described as a small city with the chic shops, trendy entertainment scene, eclectic restaurant dining options, and multitude of recreational activities of a much larger urban city.
Outdoor Recreation In Palm Springs, California
Against the backdrop of gorgeous mountains, palm trees, and sandy beaches, Palm Springs is a renowned outdoor sports and recreation destination. The city caters to this demographic with its abundance of public parks, dog parks & national parks, over 100 golf courses, an Olympic sized public pool, a water park, and a baseball stadium. Throughout the city, you'll find both local residents and inspired tourists hiking trails, riding on bicycle routes, and horseback riding.
Mount San Jacinto
At almost 11,000 feet above sea level, Mount San Jacinto is southern California's second highest mountain range. In addition to multiple Palm Springs hotels, this mountain offers a variety of hiking trails, two drive-in campgrounds, and indoor and outdoor climbing options. From the base of the mountain, the easiest way up is the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will take you 8,500 feet up to the Mt. San Jacinto station, and takes just about 15 (aesthetically beautiful) minutes.
Palm Springs Golf Courses
Golf lovers will find paradise here. Palm Springs has over 100 golf courses, including some designed by famous golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. The world-famous O'Donnell Golf Club, as well as Desert Willow Golf Resort, PGA West Golf Club, and The Valley Course are among the top golf courses in the area.
Joshua Tree National Park
One of the most popular day trips from Palm Springs is a visit to Joshua Tree National Park. The park lies on the edge of two deserts, and is surrounded by Joshua trees and cholla cacti. It has stunning natural scenery and a rich cultural history, which makes it a popular vacation destination.
The Living Desert Zoo And Gardens
Voted #6 on Conde Nest Traveler's list of the "10 Best Zoos In The US", the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is an experience like no other. Located on 1,200 acres of land in the Santa Rosa foothills of the Sonoran Desert, the Living Desert Zoo is divided into 3 regions: African Safari, Wilds of North America, and Australian Adventures.
Each region houses hundreds of animals from all over the continent, but specializes in the desert habitats. The Living Desert Gardens features 50 botanical gardens replicating species from North American and Mexican deserts, as well as visitor-exclusive hiking trails. The property also features one of the world's largest LGB model railroads, with 3,115 feet of track. Visit LivingDesert.org for more information.
Art, Architecture & Culture In Palm Springs California
From concerts, festivals, and theater, to museums, galleries and public art installations, the Greater Palm Springs area is a community rich in arts and culture. Visitors come from all over the world to attend Palm Spring's annual arts festivals, such as the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival, The American Documentary Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Jazz Festival.
Palm Springs Modern Mid Century Architecture
Despite its desert setting, Palm Springs features an abundance of striking mid-century modernist architecture from world renowned architects like Albert Fret, Donald Wexler, E. Stewart Williams, and John Lautner. This is likely why Palm Springs is the home of the annual Modernism Week, a week dedicated to art, architecture, and design that attracts visitors from around the world.
Palm Springs Museums
There are five museums located in Greater Palm Springs:
Brief History Of Palm Springs, California
The area's first inhabitants were Native Americans of the Hohokam culture. Later, Spanish explorers came to the region. Ranching and mining began in the nineteenth century. Once the Hollywood glitterati started visiting Palm Springs in the 1920's, it became an oasis for the stars, and the area was frequented by celebrities such as Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Sinatra's Rat Pack.
During WWII, much of Palm Springs became important training grounds for the military, including Air Corps Ferrying Command's 21st Ferrying Group. After the war, between 1947 and 1965, thousands of new houses were built in Palm Springs by the Alexander Construction Company, doubling the city's housing capacity.
Up to this point, Palm Springs was largely comprised of "snowbirds". People's who used their Palm Spring houses as second homes, or vacation homes. Very few people stuck it out through the hot summer months, but as more and more retirees moved to the area in the 1970's, the resort town slowly became a year-round community. Businesses remained open in the summer months, and made the area more attractive for families. Families made the area more attractive to businesses, and so on.
Today, tourism drives the city's economy, with over 1.5 million visitors a year. There are now... in a city of 94 square miles... with a population under 45,000... over 130 Palm Springs hotels, resorts, and bed & breakfasts, and - I hope you like food - there are over 100 restaurants for casual or fine dining!
Palm Spring California FAQs
What Airport Flies To Palm Springs?
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) is the only airport nearby, but it is a hub for all the major airlines. Flights are available 24/7 - including international, private, and charter flights. They can be reached at their website, or by calling (760) 318-3800.
What Is There To Do In Palm Springs?
Palm Springs Event Calendar: Things To Do In Palm Springs, California
So much! In addition to the standard year-round tourist attractions detailed above, the official Palm Springs city website has a calendar detailing events taking place in and around the city. Check it out here.
What Is The Sonoran Desert?
The Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert is the largest desert in North America. It covers 120,000 square miles, and includes a large portion of Baja California Sur, the western half of Sonora, and the Yuma and Colorado deserts. Temperatures can reach over 125 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. It also experiences some drought, with less than three inches of precipitation each year.
Where Is The Agua Caliente Indian Reservation?
Where Are The Cahuilla Indians From?
The Cahuilla people's ancestors lived in the Southern California desert. Today, the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation in Palm Springs is home to a federally recognized Native American tribe called the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The Cahuilla Indians oversee over 30,000 acres of land in Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and Riverside County. Learn More about their story, or the Cahuilla Territory.
How Do I Make The Most Out Of My Stay In Palm Springs?
For a great way to add adventure to your Palm Desert vacation, use the city of Palm Springs' official website sign up form to get site deals in your account inbox. These sites spread word of Southern California's best Saturday activities at places like events at the Empire Polo Club, Living Desert wildlife refuge, desert hot springs, or village arts festival. Make a night of it - search - explore - make memories, enjoy the peace of being served a refreshingly cool iced coffee after a delicious dinner on a warm night. Data shows that Palm Springs visitors who stay in their hotel or estate watching cable tv service, rather than taking the time to play outside are actually less relaxed than those who remain active - so search for and take advantage of the many entertainment options or outdoor activities available in the Palm Springs area!
- What Airport Flies To Palm Springs?